Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases

Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases

Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases

Discrimination at Work: The Psychological and Organizational Bases

Synopsis

This volume brings together top scholars in industrial and organizational psychology with social psychologists to explore the research and theory relating to various areas of workplace discrimination. Many of the contributors to this book participated in a conference on workplace discrimination held at Rice University in May 2000. The idea came from the realization that there had been no attempt to bring together the various literatures on the topic. Discrimination and issues of employment diversity are significant topics today in IO psychology, business, and human resource management. This edited volume examines the following components of this important discussion: *how to explain discrimination in organizations; *understanding discrimination against specific groups; and *implications for practical efforts to reduce discrimination. This book brings together, in one volume, a review of the research on discrimination based on race, age, sexual orientation, gender, physical appearance, disability, and personality. In addition, it explores the multilevel antecedents and potential bases for a general model of discrimination in the workplace. While social psychological research and theory have provided invaluable insights, an understanding of discrimination in the workplace and solutions will require incorporating factors at the organizational level in addition to factors at the individual and group levels. Although a definitive model is not reached, the aim of this text is to facilitate future research and theory.

Excerpt

Many of the contributors to this book participated in a conference on workplace discrimination held at Rice University in May 2000. The idea behind the conference was to bring together major scholars in industrial and organizational psychology (I/O), who were doing research on the topic, with a few of the more active researchers in social psychology. For two stimulating days of presentations, posters, and roundtable discussions, we explored the research and theory relating to the various areas of workplace discrimination. The idea for the book came from the realization, reinforced in this conference, that there had been no attempt in the workplace discrimination literature to bring together the research and theory on the topic. We sought to bring together in one volume a review of the scholarly work on discrimination based on race, age, sexual orientation, gender, physical appearance, disability, and personality. In addition, we attempted to explore the multilevel antecedents and potential bases for a general model of discrimination in the workplace. Although social psychological research and theory have provided invaluable insights, an understanding of discrimination in the workplace and solutions requires incorporating factors at the organizational, individual, and group levels. We do not claim to have arrived at a definitive model, but we hope that the several initial attempts here will facilitate future attempts at integration of the diverse work on this topic.

In the review of the research related to specific areas of discrimination, we have intentionally focused on the groups that have received the most attention and have given relatively little attention to other ethnic and racial groups, such as Jews, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Our inattention was a reflection of the amount of research in the workplace and was not meant to suggest that discrimination against these other groups is infrequent or unimportant.

The reader should also be aware, as might be expected with a topic as controversial as this, that the authors in this volume probably differ to some extent in their views on the nature of discrimination and the preferred solutions. Consequently, the reader should not attribute the views expressed in . . .

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